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Akai Professional APC40 Ableton Performance Controller

B&H # AKAPC40 Mfr # APC40
In Stock
Free Expedited Shipping
You Pay: $299.00
Product Highlights
  • 40 Multi-Color Communicative Triggers
  • Designed in Partnership with Ableton
  • Plug and Play, No Drivers

The APC40 Ableton Performance Controller from Akai Professional was designed from its inception to be the perfect hardware companion to the popular production and performance software Ableton Live. If you've never used Live before, you can simply plug the APC40 into a computer and get acquainted with the included Ableton Live APC Edition software without hassle, because it's designed to plug and play on both Mac and Windows. If you already use Live for music production, performance, songwriting, DJ'ing, post-production video, television production, live theater, art installations, or in any capacity - you will immediately appreciate the APC40's exclusive ability to "talk" to the software.

The unusual front panel of the APC40 is packed with glowing buttons. It looks this way because it's designed to let you to take complete control of Live's unique Session View. Session View features a grid that allows you to load audio and MIDI clips into its cells. You can play and stop each of these clips in any sequence, and you can launch groups of clips together as a "scene." You can choose to have the software time-stretch and quantize all of these sounds so they flow together musically. It's an extremely simple yet wildly creative approach to manipulating sound, but until now there has been no true hardware solution that could free the user from staring deeply into their computer monitor with a mouse in their hand.

The APC40 has finally answered the need for a dedicated Session View controller for Live. When you press a button on the APC40, the command is sent to Live and the software carries out the task. The new and exciting capability here is the result of your command being fed back to the APC40 and displayed on its respective control. For example, if you don't have an audio or MIDI clip loaded into a cell in the software, the respective button on the APC40 will not be illuminated. If you put a clip into a cell in the software, the respective button will illuminate orange. If you press on an orange glowing button to fire a clip, the button will turn green while the clip is playing. If you decide to record into a cell, the respective button will glow red.

You are not limited to the 8 tracks and 5 scenes in the matrix. You can create as large of a Live Set as you please, and use the navigation buttons on the APC40 scroll around to access any of your clips. The portion of the program you currently have control of with the APC40 will be highlighted in red in Live's GUI.

The APC40 also has 8 track faders and a master fader, with the ability to change banks. Each of the 8 tracks has a dedicated mute, solo, and record button. The solo buttons can also be used as cue buttons for DJ'ing. The APC40 also features 16 endless encoder knobs, each with its own LED ring. The upper right portion of the APC40 is the Track Control section with 8 of these knobs. This area acts as a global control for which ever bank of 8 tracks you currently have selected. You can quickly access track panning and control sends A, B, and C. Pressing one of the Track Selection buttons located below the clip launching matrix will assign the other set of 8 knobs on the lower right portion of the APC40. The knobs will map to the device (such as an effect or an instrument) the chosen track holds. There are dedicated buttons for turning devices on and off, scrolling from device to device, and for switching between Clip View and Track View.

If you don't care to use the APC40's pre-mapped controls, all of its 109 buttons, 16 knobs, 9 45mm faders, and replaceable 60mm dual rail-guided crossfader are freely assignable so you can customize its workflow in any way you please. The freedom to reinvent the APC40 doesn't stop there. Users can purchase an additional piece of software called Max For Live, which runs seamlessly within Live 8. Max For Live (which was created in collaboration with Cycling '74) allows users to edit and invent their own custom devices within Live 8, and utilize all of the control capability of the APC40 as a blank canvas. For example, a user can build a custom step sequencer with Max For Live and program the trigger matrix of the APC40 to act as an input device for building sequences, rather than launching clips.

However, you don't have to commit all of your time and energy to building custom instruments and effects with Max For Live. The multitude of different devices that hardcore users build will be shared amongst the Ableton community, so you can download and use the fruits of other users' labor. With an APC40, Live 8, and Max For Live, the only limitation for what can be accomplished is the collective imagination of its global base of creative enthusiasts.

Session View Controller
8 track x 5 scene triggering matrix with real-time feedback from the software
Dedicated Controls
Tap tempo button

+/- Nudge buttons for real-time syncing with live musicians, turntables, performers, etc.

(5) Dedicated scene launch buttons

(8) Stop clip buttons

(1) Stop all clips button

Reinvention
Reassign any pre-mapped control to your liking. Reinvent the functionality of the hardware with Max for Live
Connection USB
Faders 9 45mm track faders, 1 replaceable 60mm dual rail-guided crossfader
Transport Controls Play, Stop, Record
Rotary Controls 16 endless encoder knobs with LED rings
Multiple Units Up to six APC40's can be used with Live simultaneously
Included Software Ableton Live Akai Professional APC Edition Software
Software Supported Ableton Live, and any software that features assignable MIDI capability
System Requirements Mac and Windows compatible
Dimensions (WxDxH) 16.5 x 13.2 x 2.6" (420 x 335 x 65mm)
Weight 5.8 lbs (2.64kg)
Specialties Exclusive ability to communicate with Ableton Live. Provides visual feedback of the software in the hardware, and the software updates its GUI according to what you assign in the hardware.
Akai Professional APC40 Ableton Performance Controller
  • Ableton Live Akai Professional APC Edition Software CD (Mac and Windows)
  • USB Cable
  • Power Supply
  • Limited 1-Year Warranty
  • REVIEW SNAPSHOT®

    by PowerReviews
    Akai ProfessionalAPC40 Ableton Performance Controller
     
    4.8

    (based on 37 reviews)

    Ratings Distribution

    • 5 Stars

       

      (32)

    • 4 Stars

       

      (4)

    • 3 Stars

       

      (1)

    • 2 Stars

       

      (0)

    • 1 Stars

       

      (0)

    100%

    of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

    Pros

    • Easy to use (26)
    • Versatile (26)
    • Compact (14)
    • Simple controls (14)
    • Lightweight (10)

    Cons

      Best Uses

      • Performances (25)
      • Home studio (15)
      • Outdoor events / games (13)
      • Professional recording (12)
      • Pro audio / DJ / mixing (11)
        • Reviewer Profile:
        • Professional musician (13), Experienced (12), Novice (3)
        • Primary use:
        • Personal (5)
        • Computer Platform:
        • PC (5), Mac (4)

      Most Liked Positive Review

       

      APC40 Great controller so far!

      I have only had the APC40 for a week or so, but already it is really fun and useful. I have Ableton 8 Suite, and before I had this controller I created some...Read complete review

      I have only had the APC40 for a week or so, but already it is really fun and useful. I have Ableton 8 Suite, and before I had this controller I created some songs and loops, and was using my microKontrol to trigger.
      The APC40 is great so far because:

      8 sliders, 8 cues, 8 solo buttons, etc. I plugged it in, turned it on, made a few preferences adjustments and within minutes it was dialed in. That was excellent, quick and easy.

      Intuitive layout, nice feel. solid construction. the knobs feel good, and the led lights let you know where the levels are at, that is really helpful-less looking back and forth at the screen.

      I also like that I can scroll through the effects/processors that I have on different channels, as well as select different channels without touching a mouse!

      I still have learning to do with it, the way I have laid out some of my longer songs may not be ideal for this, I am trying to figure out the best templates, techniques.

      Not so great: so far the only hitches I've hit are probably user error type things such as in one song, I can't move the selector box down or to the side. I am guessing it is because of the way I had the sample clips assigned. So at this point I don't have any legitamate negatives. It is maybe a little big, but for all that it has/does, it works.

      In Conclusion: I am happy, I would recommend it. I look forward to playing with it and getting a better understanding of how to get the configuration that I am looking for.

      VS

      Most Liked Negative Review

       

      Good Solid Controller

      This controller will probably meet every expectation for most users. But for my use, I was unable to use the color status that should show up in the buttons. I am only using...Read complete review

      This controller will probably meet every expectation for most users. But for my use, I was unable to use the color status that should show up in the buttons. I am only using this to control DMX software and the color button status is not compatible. I'v heard other users complain about this too.

      Reviewed by 37 customers

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      5.0

      Easy cheesy

      By Rukhnies

      from Columbia, SC

      About Me Professional Musician

      Verified Buyer

      Pros

      • Accurate Controls
      • Compact
      • Easy To Use
      • Versatile

      Cons

        Best Uses

        • Amateur Recording
        • Performances
        • Production
        • Professional Recording

        Comments about Akai Professional APC40 Ableton Performance Controller:

        Plug and play. Highly recommended.

        Share this review

         
        5.0

        Great Deal

        By baze

        from ogden, ut

        About Me Professional Musician

        Verified Buyer

        Pros

        • Accurate Controls
        • Compact
        • Easy To Use

        Cons

          Best Uses

          • Events
          • Music Videos
          • Performances

          Comments about Akai Professional APC40 Ableton Performance Controller:

          Great product, great buy and they even upgrading my shipping from 8 day to 2 day. I'm not sure why the shipping was upgrading but definitely not complaining.

            Share this review

             
            5.0

            Great!

            By MattDG

            from New York, NY

            About Me Professional Musician

            Verified Buyer

            Pros

            • Accurate Controls
            • Compact
            • Easy To Use
            • Excellent Sound
            • Versatile

            Cons

              Best Uses

              • Events
              • Music Videos
              • Performances

              Comments about Akai Professional APC40 Ableton Performance Controller:

              Great product and easy to learn. Simple to use with the standard configurations but also easily customizable.

              Share this review

              (0 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

               
              3.0

              Good Solid Controller

              By BWE

              from Arkansas

              About Me Experienced

              Verified Buyer

              Pros

              • Accurate Controls
              • Compact
              • Easy To Use

              Cons

              • Limited Functions

              Best Uses

              • Events
              • Performances
              • Soundtracks

              Comments about Akai Professional APC40 Ableton Performance Controller:

              This controller will probably meet every expectation for most users. But for my use, I was unable to use the color status that should show up in the buttons. I am only using this to control DMX software and the color button status is not compatible. I'v heard other users complain about this too.

              Share this review

               
              5.0

              Best Controller For Ableton Live

              By mudu

              from Waterloo

              About Me Professional Musician

              Verified Buyer

              Pros

              • Accurate Controls
              • Compact
              • Easy To Use
              • Versatile

              Cons

                Best Uses

                • Performances
                • Professional Recording

                Comments about Akai Professional APC40 Ableton Performance Controller:

                Plug and play at its best! A Live users best tool. Every thing about this baby
                Is great. Could use a optical crossfaders for those who need a super loose durable fader. B&H have the best price!

                Share this review

                (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                 
                5.0

                Excellent product

                By Ryszard.S.

                from Siloam Spring's, Arkansas

                About Me Novice

                Pros

                • Accurate Controls
                • Easy To Use
                • Is Fun To Play With
                • Versatile

                Cons

                  Best Uses

                  • Amateur Recording
                  • Events
                  • Music Videos
                  • Performances
                  • Professional Recording
                  • Soundtracks

                  Comments about Akai Professional APC40 Ableton Performance Controller:

                  I did purchase Akai APC-40 Performance Controller about 2 weeks ago from B&H. I having lot of fun playing with.

                  Share this review

                   
                  5.0

                  Great controller for Ableton

                  By BLiiVe

                  from Burlington Vt

                  About Me Novice

                  Verified Buyer

                  Pros

                  • Accurate Controls
                  • Compact
                  • Easy To Use
                  • Excellent Sound
                  • Versatile

                  Cons

                    Best Uses

                    • Amateur Recording
                    • Events
                    • Professional Recording

                    Comments about Akai Professional APC40 Ableton Performance Controller:

                    Apc40 is a powerful and intuitive controller for Live. Just about every button can be re-mapped to do pretty much anything you want it to. There is definitely a learning curve in learning the machine and ableton, but once learned, the possibilities are endless

                    Share this review

                     
                    5.0

                    Very good product I will buy agen

                    By Saar laser

                    from Maimi FL

                    About Me Experienced

                    Verified Buyer

                    Pros

                    • Accurate Controls

                    Cons

                      Best Uses

                        Comments about Akai Professional APC40 Ableton Performance Controller:

                        I buy this for my laser show controll
                        Very good product !!!

                        Share this review

                        (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                         
                        5.0

                        Perfect

                        By Joel Hard

                        from Brasil

                        Verified Buyer

                        Pros

                        • Easy to Customize
                        • Easy to Navigate
                        • Versatile

                        Cons

                          Best Uses

                          • Multimedia

                          Comments about Akai Professional APC40 Ableton Performance Controller:

                          Quality product, great for Ableton Live & Traktor.
                          I am a DJ and Producer recommend.

                          • Computer Platform:
                          • Mac

                          Share this review

                          (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

                           
                          5.0

                          Definite must, even for Ableton newbs

                          By Mr. N/A

                          from USA

                          Verified Buyer

                          Pros

                          • Easy to Customize
                          • Easy to Navigate
                          • Intuitive
                          • Versatile

                          Cons

                          • None

                          Best Uses

                          • Multimedia

                          Comments about Akai Professional APC40 Ableton Performance Controller:

                          While somebody that's just invested upwards of $600-800 on an Ableton-software-based DAW might not want to hear it, this hardware might as well be bundled with the software from the get-go so that you receive both at the same time and don't waste weeks or months before coming to the realization that you need this device. Shell out the $200+ with confidence and never look back.

                          I don't know a whole lot about Ableton yet as I'm still a newb, but I can't imagine learning it with a pure mouse-&-keyboard approach, given all of the more complicated aspects of the application - the thought/memory alone makes me cringe, and with my poster-child-grade ADHD issues, I honestly think I would never maintain enough interest to work through that process without the engagement the APC40 offers in terms of actually feeling your skillset growing as you move along.

                          Any other experienced Ableton user would probably tell you its an absolute must for performing, but I think it's a real must for learning and working if you're serious about getting to know the application to begin with.

                          • Primary use:
                          • Personal
                          • Computer Platform:
                          • PC

                          Share this review

                           
                          4.0

                          Finally I have the control I desire!

                          By 0nly

                          from Detroit, MI

                          About Me Aspiring Auteur

                          Verified Buyer

                          Pros

                          • Works out of the box

                          Cons

                            Best Uses

                            • Music production

                            Comments about Akai Professional APC40 Ableton Performance Controller:

                            So, I have been playing with my APC40 for a few weeks now. I think its great. Previously I had been quite frustrated in my attempts to play with Ableton with nothing more than a mouse because doing so is very much like trying to play a musical instrument while only having one finger! Now with the APC40 I can use all of my fingers and feel that I can finally use Ableton to its fullest potential. It makes it less like software and more like an actual hands-on musical instrument with endless possibilities. I look forward to developing my skills on this fun and powerful new tool.

                            • Primary use:
                            • Personal
                            • Computer Platform:
                            • PC

                            Share this review

                            (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                             
                            5.0

                            The Answer to the Live Live App!!!

                            By The BraveRobot

                            from Atlanta Ga

                            Verified Buyer

                            Pros

                              Cons

                                Best Uses

                                  Comments about Akai Professional APC40 Ableton Performance Controller:

                                  Everything it said it would be and more.

                                  • Computer Platform:
                                  • Mac

                                  Share this review

                                   
                                  5.0

                                  Great product

                                  By Dave

                                  from Kutztown, Pa

                                  About Me DJProducer

                                  Verified Buyer

                                  Pros

                                  • Easy To Collaborate Across Programs
                                  • Easy to Customize
                                  • Easy to Navigate
                                  • Versatile

                                  Cons

                                    Best Uses

                                    • Live production

                                    Comments about Akai Professional APC40 Ableton Performance Controller:

                                    I've been using traktor and a custom VCI-100 for 2 years now and it was starting to limit my ability. I wanted more than just DJ'ing- I wanted to do live remixing, production, and mashing in addition to DJ.

                                    The APC40 is right up that alley and it delivers on all it's promises. I can still use my old setup and slave traktor's clock to ableton and get the best of both worlds. Quite simply it's the best controller for ableton (especially if you have the suite version for custom mappings).

                                    • Primary use:
                                    • Business
                                    • Computer Platform:
                                    • PC

                                    Share this review

                                    (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                                     
                                    5.0

                                    Has it all

                                    By ajcnet

                                    from wash dc

                                    Verified Buyer

                                    Pros

                                    • Easy To Collaborate Across Programs
                                    • Easy to Navigate
                                    • Versatile

                                    Cons

                                      Best Uses

                                        Comments about Akai Professional APC40 Ableton Performance Controller:

                                        Can use all the functionality in the software right out of the box. Period. What else is there to say?

                                        • Primary use:
                                        • Personal
                                        • Computer Platform:
                                        • Mac

                                        Share this review

                                        (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                                         
                                        5.0

                                        Amazing product and so easy to use

                                        By Antonio

                                        from anaheim,CA

                                        Verified Buyer

                                        Pros

                                        • Easy To Collaborate Across Programs
                                        • Easy to Customize
                                        • Easy to Navigate
                                        • Versatile

                                        Cons

                                          Best Uses

                                          • Multimedia

                                          Comments about Akai Professional APC40 Ableton Performance Controller:

                                          I use akai apc 40 for live dj and create remix

                                          • Primary use:
                                          • Personal
                                          • Computer Platform:
                                          • PC

                                          Share this review

                                          (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                                           
                                          5.0

                                          great product

                                          By Ninmenka

                                          from Normal, IL

                                          About Me Ableton user, Dj, Music producer, Traktor user

                                          Verified Buyer

                                          Pros

                                          • Easy To Collaborate Across Programs
                                          • Easy to Customize
                                          • Easy to Navigate
                                          • Versatile

                                          Cons

                                          • None

                                          Best Uses

                                          • Music production

                                          Comments about Akai Professional APC40 Ableton Performance Controller:

                                          Awesome product. Exactly what I've been needing to unlock Ableton's full potential at an excellent price [...].

                                          • Primary use:
                                          • Personal
                                          • Computer Platform:
                                          • PC

                                          Share this review

                                           
                                          5.0

                                          APC40 is perfect

                                          By thejimnasium

                                          from Columbus, OH

                                          Verified Buyer

                                          Pros

                                            Cons

                                              Best Uses

                                                Comments about Akai Professional APC40 Ableton Performance Controller:

                                                I use Ableton Live as my main income producer doing corporate music, TV cues and gigs improvising live house music. After using the APC40 for a few hours I can't believe I didn't have one sooner! If you use Ableton Live! for any length of time, this gear makes things WAAAYYY easier and faster!

                                                • Primary use:
                                                • Business
                                                • Computer Platform:
                                                • Mac

                                                Share this review

                                                (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                                                 
                                                5.0

                                                If you use ableton, this MIDI is a must.

                                                By Benji

                                                from Miami, Fl

                                                About Me Experienced

                                                Verified Buyer

                                                Pros

                                                • Accurate Controls
                                                • Easy To Use
                                                • Versatile

                                                Cons

                                                • No Touch Sensitivity

                                                Best Uses

                                                • Performances
                                                • Professional Recording

                                                Comments about Akai Professional APC40 Ableton Performance Controller:

                                                I'm new to the producing/mixing game so I was a bit apprehensive about getting something too complex. However, after owning the APC40 for almost a month I was easily able to become familiar with the interface within a matter of hours and program in any of my own customizations (literally every button/switch/knob is programmable).

                                                Share this review

                                                 
                                                5.0

                                                APC40

                                                By F3RAL

                                                from Los Angeles, CA

                                                About Me Professional Musician

                                                Verified Buyer

                                                Pros

                                                • Accurate Controls
                                                • Easy To Use
                                                • Seamless Ableton flow
                                                • Versatile

                                                Cons

                                                • Fadersknobs fragile

                                                Best Uses

                                                • Performances

                                                Comments about Akai Professional APC40 Ableton Performance Controller:

                                                I use this primarily as a control surface for effects and a way to launch clips in LIVE. It works great for gigging and has served me very well. Extremely easy to remap, even easier to use, great piece of equipment.
                                                Love it!

                                                Share this review

                                                 
                                                4.0

                                                Enormous potential

                                                By djfaq

                                                from Boston, MA

                                                About Me Experienced

                                                Verified Buyer

                                                Pros

                                                • Accurate Controls
                                                • Easy To Use

                                                Cons

                                                • Bulky

                                                Best Uses

                                                • Performances

                                                Comments about Akai Professional APC40 Ableton Performance Controller:

                                                Absolute must for an Ableton user. Opens completely new possibilities with existing software (e.g. you can solo multiple tracks at a time by hitting multiple solo buttons simultaneously, etc.) Very intuitive.

                                                A couple of down sides and good to have-s:

                                                1. When computer comes out of sleep (tested on PC only), and you had Ableton open, there is no way to synchronize APC40, so you have to restart Ableton software).

                                                2. Definitely could have used more launchpad buttons so you could have more visibility into the scenes.

                                                3. Scene launch buttons don't stay lit, so you really don't know what scene is playing (yes, you could have clips from multiple scenes going simultaneously, but even then showing "active" scenes would be very helpful).

                                                Other than that it's truly a great solid product.

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